Monday, 20 October 2014

The Importance of learning to design for production

I'm writing techs right now. Techs (as my client in the USA calls them - more likely to be called specs or specification sheets in the UK), are the instructions to the factory to make the shoe.

So I've prepared my sketch presentation. The clients customer has reviewed it and selected. The collection is ready to be teched and sent to the resource, a week or so ahead of my client who will visit to develop it, there.

So there is this sandal - I spent quite a lot of time on it, my clients customer is very specific about what they like and sent me storyboards of their inspiration to work from.

We all liked this shoe - but I teched it today and half way through my illustrator render, I realised I've designed something that looks great but is physically impossible to construct. Kind of like that building above, by the famous artist MC Escher. Look closer, like I did. Could you build that building?  I knew, once I looked closely that no one could build this shoe, and even if you could you would not be able to fasten the straps.

Anyway, I found a solution, the main concern was to not spoil the look of the design. Much swearing and head scratching later, I've done it. I now think it's possible.  I had to get a last and cut some strips of paper up and figure it out in 3D but I'm there.

Never underestimate the importance of understanding footwear construction.  It's important to create products that can be made, not illusions that remain a fantasy in an artists head.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Flopz Crowdsourcing

I worked with Flopz briefly last year, as a technical consultant, to help them refine their first prototype so they could bring it to market.

Following some refinements and adjustments, Flopz launched earlier this year. Aga and Alan, the founders, are now seeking further investment to help Flopz grow into an internationally known name. If you would like to help this unique new flip flop brand please follow this link.

You can purchase your own pair of Flopz on their website

So where the blimmin' heck have we been?

One thing I've been told about social media and websites is that it's a game of keepy uppy. Well, you may have noticed that we dropped the ball and I guess some of you are wondering what happened to that shoedesigner that lives on a boat and blogs about the footwear business.

Well, I'm alive! I'm here and I'm finally trying to catch up after a crazy 2013 and an even busier spring and summer in 2014

So how have we been?

We've had our busiest two years in business to date - we've been full to capacity since July 2013 and since then we have been concentrating on serving our existing client base. We've been doing a little bit of consulting for the British Footwear Association too. We've done the odd days consultancy here and there for fledgling footwear companies, we've been to Micam and Pure several times and to Italy to work with factories.

We've also spent spring and summer of this year helping a relative who had a bad accident to find a retirement home and help them to move in and organise their affairs.

I am finally coming up for air, so it's time to start the engine on this blog again. I've a whole list of subjects to write about, thanks to you, my readers, who email me asknig for advice and my opinion on things. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have such interesting questions to answer and then blog about, so thank you all.